Newton Alderman Carleton Merrill, who died on Wednesday, was remembered by his colleagues as an advocate for veterans’ and senior issues and a hard worker.
Merrill, 88, was a World War II veteran and one of the longest serving aldermen on the board. He was an alderman in the 1950s for a few terms, then worked as the city’s veterans agent for 34 years before retiring and returning to the Board of Aldermen.
“The city suffers a loss and will miss him,” Mayor Setti Warren said.
Merrill was a Ward 1 at-large representative and took pride in his service to the community, said Alderman Allan (Jay) Ciccone, the other at-large representative from the ward.
He met once a week with elderly residents at the senior center. And as a member of the land use committee Merrill made a point of visiting the location of each permit petition so he knew the issues being addressed, Ciccone said.
Until more recently, Merrill would put on his military uniform and march in the city’s annual Memorial Day parade, Ciccone said.
He also loved NASCAR and drove up to New Hampshire on weekend for the races, Ciccone said.
“He was courteous, generous, a wonderful man,” he said.
The Board of Aldermen are going to discuss a way to honor Merrill's service, said Alderman Scott Lennon, the board's president.
Under the city's charter, Newton must hold a special election to fill Merrill's seat.
Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.